Happy Halloween

But more importantly today is Alex’s Birthday. In 2019 he’ll be 29. He’s almost 30… dude, we are getting old!

What are we going to say when we are 300? What will the world be like then? Too far to think about and way to depressing too.

AJ has a story in progress for Alex’s birthday but I’ve not been cooperating, between migraines and being stuck in a different me for a few weeks her writing has slumped. And NaNo starts tomorrow and she’s gearing up for Game Off trying to anyway. We’ll see how that goes.

My world revolves around you Alex. You may think everything around me takes precedence, but that’s only because it’s important, I do it all for you, so we can live a life we were meant to. I’m sorry it sucks, and our life is in danger all the time, but I’m glad I have you to share it with me.

Here is the start to Alex’s birthday this year:


Top Last year

How does one top last year’s birthday present when you went pretty extravagant the first time? Actually it’s pretty easy, but this time it wasn’t just going to be a simple bit of planning. No, this year I’d have to sneak around, hide things from Alex for a long period of time. I knew how to dance. I knew how to cook. I could draw fairly well. But I never really played any music before. And for Alex music was a big part of his growing up.

It was a side line – a money maker. It reminded him of him mom. The guitar he owned was hers. Much like the leather jacket he liked to wear – the one that smelled perfectly like Alex. This years birthday present would be two fold – buy a new guitar for Alex, and learn how to play one song that I would record and even try to sing, though I wasn’t sure about that part, to play at a strategic moment in Alex’s birthday dinner as his present was revealed to him. At least that was the plan and we all know how plans go. It was always busy around here so I hoped that with Rider’s help I could make this work. The only thing I had to do was NOT think about it until his birthday. That was going to be hard.

Rider was curled up on the couch with Fae and Quinn. Those two seemed to flock to their Alpha with little more prompting. I don’t know if Rider felt the need to protect them and his ‘call’ was too strong to resist or if they just did it out of instinct.

Quinn spoke softly as she always did, “I’m not a wolf, I don’t have a wolf instinct. You think way too loud Nox.”

I sighed, “Don’t tell your dad.”

She turned around and looked at me and smiled, “I would never. I can help.”

“It’ll be weird if you were in my head, Quinn, your dad would know something is up.”

She sighed, but I sat down next to her and smiled wrapping my arm around her shoulders and she leaned into me. “But I appreciate the offer.”

Quinn didn’t call me Dad like the rest of the kids, it felt awkward to her. So I never pushed it. She wasn’t my kid and she called Alex Dad more often than not so that was progress. My kids on the other hand all called Alex Da. They dropped the second d in order to distinguish between the two. Laker said it was a thing they saw on TV – a British show or something. Fae and Drake fell into the Dad/Da category my brothers thankfully didn’t which included Matt. Matt wasn’t officially my kid, or our kid, he was ours by marriage sorta. Though the boys were only sixteen Laker and Matt had found what everyone else wanted now instead of years later. Soul mates? Maybe, I think it was need. Matt needed us, and Laker needed to find love to accept himself. It was hard being a twin, and following in your twins shadow. Laker needed Matt. And we all loved Matt. It was really a win win all around.

“What song are you going to learn?” Rider asked.

I bopped Quinn on the head, “You weren’t supposed to tell anyone.”

“It’s Rider. You were going to ask him to help you anyway.”

I growled playfully at the pair. There was a growing connection, and I had a feeling it wasn’t just the Alpha bond.” I wasn’t sure how Alex would feel about that.

Quinn pushed me away, “Ewwww.”

I laughed, she was only ten after all. Still a few years before she even started liking boys.

“You are so gross.” She stood up and stomped away.

I shifted over to the boys taking Quinn’s vacated spot and Faelen leaned into me instead of Rider. Rider giggled, “I’m still not the big Alpha on the block with you around.”

I shrugged, “Sorry.”

He smiled, “It’s alright. I don’t mind playing second fiddle to you, my King.” My eyebrow rose and Rider just laughed. “Fair play.”

I sighed, “Fine. I’m gonna go learn how to play guitar you can cover for me while I’m doing that? I’ll let you know which appointment block it is.”

Rider nodded, “Alex is either going to hate you or love you. And I don’t know which.”

“I think he’ll like it. You don’t?”

“No I think he will like it, I just think he’s gonna hate all this sneaking around. He knows you too well. We all do. Fucking open book remember. You can’t hide anything.”

“I can too.” I pouted.

Rider laughed, “So what song?”

I shrugged, I dunno I was hoping the instructor would be able to help me pick one.

“Good luck. I’ll do my best but I’m not a good liar.”

“Don’t lie.” I smiled and patted my brother on the head. Faelen shifted back to Rider as I stood up. “I have a guitar to go buy.”

“Like you know what to look for.”

I smiled at him, “I’m not an idiot.”

“Yes you are.” Rider called after me.

Bright Theory

Today’s post is brought to you by AJ’s Rory’s Cubes: a lightbulb, shadow monster and a book thusly titled Bright Theory.

This is not cannon.


Hunter was afraid of the dark, and for good reason. His nightmares rivaled my own, and the problem was they usually came true. The darkness closed in on us as the sun dropped and Hunter clung to me more so than usual. A dream had woken him from sleep last night. Sweat and terror poured off of him like he’d been drowning in it for hours. And he likely was. He refused to talk about it, the memory still fresh in his head.

My son had taken to drawing his dreams much like I had for therapeutic reasons, and he and I flipped through the dreams finding the next clean page to sketch out his dream he’d woken from even though night hadn’t fallen again. Such was the thing of his nightmares.

Everyone else was watching TV in the media room, it was just myself and my son curled up in his bed with his notebook, the dim light of a night stand light and the shadows on the walls.

With a wave of his hand he formed a black stick of charcoal and sketched out the images from his nightmare. His notebooks were full of color and detail and he’d taken an interest in art classes, so we had enrolled him in an art class at his new school. And we’d continue for as long as he was interested. He chose various mediums but always reverted to the charcoal and paper in his nightly journal. The smears and the reverse images were all part of the experience he used to get from one moment to the next. His routine, much like mine was a necessity for healing.

The others really didn’t understand the bright theory he’d come up with. The dim lights, the black smudges, were all part of his mind. He drew what he saw like he was living it again. But this time he had control. Control of his self, his emotions and his actions. He wasn’t just a bystander. He processed the images twice. The trauma radiating through his body again as he sketched. I said nothing just watched as my son went through the motions. He took comfort in my presence. He gave me a soft smile when he looked over at me curled around him protectively.

“Alex sometimes sings to me.” Hunter whispered into the darkness, “He doesn’t like the quiet like you do.”

I chuckled, “What’s he sing?”

“Stand by me.” Hunter said with a smile.

“He sings that to me too.” Which made Hunter’s smile widen. My kids loved Alex, we all did, but it made me happy to see that they loved him as much as me, sometimes they loved him more than me. He was the fun parent. He didn’t make them eat their vegetables or go to bed on time. But he had this way of making them do what he wanted, and if I hadn’t known better I would say he manipulated them, but his tactics were no fun later if you didn’t listen now. He didn’t use his gift to manipulate the kids. He could, and he helped myself and Hunter get through particularly hard moments with a thought. Sometimes just knowing you weren’t alone in your head helped.

My kids would never feel the loneliness I felt as a child. They would always be loved. Always and forever.

Last High School Post

Yesterday was AJ’s last post for the highschool story that was written.  So today you will likely just get me rambling on about it.  AJ’s working on my gift to Alex for his birthday which is in 4 days.  So we’ve a bit of work to do, as soon as AJ gets that going further we’ll start posting it.  And in November we’ll hopefully post more of the High School AU.  Hopefully.

You might also get some world lore stuff that AJ is working on.  But we’ll see how that goes.

Right now AJ is in First Age mode, as the site picked up as it does right before every NaNoWriMo.  It’s like clockwork lol.  So there’s been a bit of scrabbling to stay caught up with those and write.  So we’ll see where we go this week.

Wish us all luck and for those of you taking on NaNo this friday we wish you a good luck too!

HSAU: Just Us Guys Part 1

Alex

I didn’t expected to be going so soon, Nox caught me texting Max in the middle of a conversation. So as we walked I tried to finish that up.

“Max doesn’t want to go?” he asked. He wasn’t looking at me but staring a head.

How’d you guess?”

“Does he want to spend the night?”

“He does, but he thinks that me alone is going to be too much.”

“You can tell him I’m going too but not to tell my Dad.”

“I did. Now he doesn’t want to lie to your parents.”

“I’ll go with you.”

“What?” I asked and stopped in the middle of the sidewalk staring at him dumbfounded.

“I’ll go with you to get him. So he’ll know he’s not lying.”

“You’ll go home even though your dad might try to stop you.”

“What’s he gonna do physically restrain me?”

“Yeah, he might. Max says he’s furious with you.”

“I don’t just lift weights for the look of it.” He said and kept walking. “I can handle my dad.”

That’s what I was afraid of. Nox handling his dad and someone getting hurt. But he had a stubborn set to his jaw that I knew well. I wore it all too often myself. I don’t think his father truly appreciates the man he was raising. Nox wasn’t a little boy. He was ready to do this without anyone, imagine if he had people in his corner willing to stand up for him too. That’s what his dad should be doing but instead he’s afraid because his son likes boys.

Nox didn’t hesitate opening his front gate, and not again when he pushed open the front door. Max was standing at the foot of the stairs with a duffle bag. “Let’s go.” He said quicky taking two steps before the floor boards creaked and Mr. Durante stuck his head out of his office. He glared at Nox and Nox just walked up to Max took his bag and then headed for the door.

It was all rather uneventful except Max called out, “I’ll be back Sunday night. Unless you think…”

Mr. Durante growled, “Be home before dinner on Sunday. The Kennedy’s don’t have room for the three of you full time.”

Nox stopped in the doorway and turned back to look at his father. Mr. Durante continued, “You think the Kennedy’s wouldn’t tell me you were staying with them. It’s a small community Nox. There is no place I don’t know where you will be.”

It sounded so much like a threat and Nox took it as such turning his back on his arrogant father and walked out the door. I had a feeling that it was going to be the last time he ever stepped foot through the front door. The set in his stride, the speed in which he walked away from the house. Max and I took it slower, Nox was two blocks ahead of us before he stopped and waited.

“He’s angry.” Max said. “You sure you want me around?”

“Absolutely.” I said. “He doesn’t want to feel like he’s taking advantage of our generosity. I want you to show him it’s alright.”

Max laughed, “He won’t ever feel like I do Alex.”

“You been talking to Drew too?”

“Mrs. Durante actually, she’s real nice. She told me how him and Lucy came to be with them. Lucy on the other hand doesn’t remember.”

I chuckled, “Haven’t you figured out that’s all an act?”

Max looked at me with a grin, “I like that she pretends, it makes me look smart.”

“You are smart.” Nox said as we walked past him. “You just need extra time.”

“Like years.” Max joked.

Nox shrugged, “Lucy and I will help.” He said and then was silent for a few blocks before he asked, “What kinda music does your dad play?”

Max chimed in, “Mostly country, but he’s old school acoustic and it’s epic. He has a great voice. He was in a band back in the day, could have made it big but they had Alex instead.”

I hated the reminder that my dad gave up his dream so he could raise me. Nox smiled, “Well maybe there will be a scout at the cafe tonight who is looking for the next big thing.”

Max laughed, “Wouldn’t that be cool. But who is going to be looking in this small town for the next big thing.”

Nox shrugged, “It’s happened before. Sports teams do it all the time.”

“Recording records executives don’t come to small towns.”

Nox grinned, “No but who needs an exec to see it. Just millions of other people. Have you ever recorded him and stuck him up on the web?”

“He’d die of embarrassment if I did that.”

“Really?” Nox laughed, “Like he’d ever know.”

Max smiled, “He’d know. He knows everything. I remember when we were little and he’d always know where to come find us even if it was someplace new we were hiding.”

“I’m gonna have to agree with Max. My dad always seems to know when I do something he doesn’t approve of.”

Nox tried to hide his smile. I could see him bitting his bottom lip trying not to say something, “What?”

He looked at me with those big brown eyes full of emotion. He shrugged, “You do things he doesn’t approve of often?”

I stuck my tongue out at him and I saw a reaction I didn’t expect. He shivered and I wished I knew what was running through his head. But we were at my house, and my mother was sitting outside on the porch waiting for us. “Before you get angry.”

“Unless Mr. Durante is hiding in the house, I think we are okay.” I said.

“I had to tell him. I’d be upset if someone knew where my son was and didn’t tell me.”

Nox gave my mother a pleasant smile, “It’s alright, Mrs. Kennedy. He would have found out anyway. I won’t be here long.”

Mom walked towards us and took Max’s bag from Nox and helped Max up the stairs, “You know where everything is Max. Make yourself at home.” Max did just that, but she turned her attention on to Nox, “And you have someplace better to be?” She said putting her arm around his waist and ushered him into the house. it seemed she was going to dote on both of them and ignore me completely. Very typical.

HSAU: Friday Night Part 5

Nox

Dinner was almost ready when the door opened unexpectedly. It was unusual for anyone to come from the shelter area before dinner. I looked up to see a pair of blue eyes I had hoped not to see until tomorrow. But he was probably just as stubborn as I was if not more from the looks of it. “Hey.” I said.

“You ran away.”

I shrugged, “Not the first time.”

“Everyone’s worried.”

I laughed, “I doubt they even know I’m gone yet.”

Alex looked at his watch and sighed, “Yeah, Lucy said she’d give me an hour.”

“Unless Ry saw me leave it could be longer. But my Dad will ignorantly call everyone I know before he comes here. He always thinks I’m past this place.”

“But it’s where you go when you feel scared. I get it.” Alex reassured me, “But I think you need to come home with me.”

“I’m not going home – not again. I can’t live under his roof and lie to who I am anymore. I tried.”

“I don’t mean your home. I meant mine. My mom and dad said you can stay for as long as you’d like.”

“I can’t mooch off of you and your family no matter how generous they are.”

Alex smirked, “Then at least for a few nights until we can figure something else out. Do you even have a plan?”

I shook my head and shrugged. “I just needed to get away from there.”

“Well, after you finish here you are coming home with me.” It was a demand. It was in his tone, and in his body language. He’d drag me kicking and screaming if I didn’t leave with him. Something about it made me shiver, and I gave a slight nod. I pulled the locker key out of my pocket and placed it on top of the glass barrier. “This will make sure I agree to go with you after dinner, so I don’t change my mind.”

Alex scooped it up and smiled. “And after we get home, I’ll go get Max while you wait at Drew’s and then we’ll go see my Dad play like you promised to do and then you and Max can spend the weekend at my house.”

“Are you putting Max as a barrier between us?” I asked with a disappointed grin.

“Yes, and no.” He smiled “Max will indeed make sure we behave, but it’s also so you don’t feel like you are mooching off of us. Give you a few more days. So it’ll be a few guys hanging out on the weekend, and then when school starts you can be all I don’t want to be here.”

I smirked, “Okay. I can deal with that.” Alex nodded, “Good.” He stepped away from the counter, and pushed the door open he’d come in through, “I’m gonna go find your things and claim a spot until you finish.”

I watched Alex leave and Suzie came over to me with a grin. “He’s cute.”

I nodded, “He is.”

“He seems to like you.”

I grinned, “He does. And I like him.”

“I was surprised you agreed so easily. You never agree when it’s Luc or one of your brothers.”

“That’s different.” I said. “I don’t want to go home then. But he’s not taking me to my home”

“He’s taking you home with him.” She smirked, “I think he has an angle.”

“I’m okay with that. Even if it’s just for a night or two.” I said.

Kim came in pushing the door open so that it would stay open. “You leaving us Nox?”

Suzie laughed, “He’s going home with some guy.”

“He is kinda cute.”

“I know.” I smiled wiping my hands off on the rag. “You need me?”

Kim shook her head, “We are good. The others will be here soon I don’t expect the early rush to be heavy.”

“Okay.” I said. “Thanks for everything.”

“We are always here Nox.” Kim said as she wrapped her arms around me in a hug. “I’ll tell your Dad I saw you, but have no idea where you went.”

“Don’t tell him I went anywhere with a blue eyed boy, he’ll know for sure where I’m at. And I’m not ready to deal with him.”

“I don’t know if I can lie like that.” Kim said.

“I know. Just don’t mention the blue eyed boy. Nothing else is a lie.”

Kim shook her head, “This isn’t like you Nox.”

“Maybe I’m tired of being like me.” I sighed as I walked out of the room to go find Alex. He had been true to his word and was sitting at a table looking at his phone. He looked good, though I wasn’t sure he was happy about anything going on right now. “Hey, I can go now.”

“Hasn’t even started.” Alex said.

“They can do without me. I helped with dinner prepping, the rest others can do. We don’t have to hang around.”

“You sure. I don’t mind waiting.”

I shook my head. “It’s good.”

Alex smiled and stood up. He slung my bag over his shoulder and offered me his hand. I looked back at the kitchen with Suzie and Kim watching me and smirked. I took his hand and we left while a pair of small kids came in searching for food. It reminded me of me and Luce when we were little and I felt the tears start. Alex pulled me along after him. “You have a better life.”

I shrugged, “Is it really better?”

“You tell me.”

“Sure I have food, warmth and a roof over my head. But the anxiety and pressures are still there just in different forms. Instead of wondering where my next meal was coming from or if my mom’s new boyfriend would beat us I now get to worry about how my dad is going to react to every little thing I do. I don’t think he’s as blind to what I am as he claims. I think when he started to realize he had a gay son, was when he started getting angry because I quit football, and wrestling. And when he gets upset because I got a B on a test.” I shrugged.

“You talk with your therapist about it all right?”

I nodded, “Yeah, I cope with it. I don’t worry about my grades. My expectations aren’t my fathers. I need to remember that what other people expect of me is not my problem.”

Alex smiled, “Good. But you know what I expect of you tonight?”

I sighed, “Hmmm?”

“To have a good time hanging out with me and Max.”

I grinned, “I’ll try.” We had plans and I was hoping meeting Alex’s expectations would be easy.

HSAU: Friday Night Part 4

Alex

We walked around the grocery store for a good hour talking and grabbing things off the shelf. Mrs. Durante paid for it and we wheeled Max home. He could walk but not far, so walking up stairs was a bit of a challenge, but we made it. The house was very quiet. Like no one was home. At least there was no shouting, or any broken furniture, that was a good sign. Max kicked a piece of paper that was on the floor and I picked it up as I walked past. Lucy knows where to find me. written in Nox’s fine handwriting.

Max sighed. “I guess it didn’t go well.”

“I guess not. You gonna be okay?”

Max smirked, “Right as rain. I’m going to take a nap and be glad I’m not Nox. Or you. It’s safe here. For me anyway.”

I nodded, “You sure? We had plans.”

“Go make sure he’s alright. I’ll be fine. Maybe you’ll have time after saving him to take me to watch your dad play.”

I left Max’s room grateful that he understood all that was going on and headed down the hall to Lucy’s. I knocked and she hurriedly hid something on the other side and then cracked the door open. I held up the note so she could read it and she frowned and opened the door so I could come in then promptly closed it and locked it. She hung her head. “I didn’t even check to see if he was still here. I knew I should have checked on him.” She sat down on her bed and tried not to cry.

“Where did he go?”

She looked up at me tears in her eyes, “To where it’s safe. When our Mom’s boyfriends would be violent or she’d be doped out of her head, we’d walk to the homeless shelter on the edge of town. Nox always gave me his portion of food, so when they found us the last time he was in so much pain from hunger. He was weak and skinny and just it was hard to think that he did all it for me. And now he’s back there again for a different kind of abuse.”

She sighed, “He’s been volunteering there every month for as long as I can remember. He’s safe there. And that’s where he runs to when he feels hope is lost.”

“Where is it Lucy?”

“He won’t come home tonight.” She shook her head, “He’ll dig his feet in, he’ll stay the night, you might get him to come home.”

“I’m not going to bring him back here, Lucy.”

Her eyes opened wide, and she smiled, “I’ll watch your friend, you watch my brother?”

I smiled, “Something like that.”

“You really like him?”

I shrugged, “Something like that.”

She grinned, “Okay.” She got up and walked to her desk and scribbled down the address on a purple sticky note and pressed a lipstick covered kiss to the paper. “Don’t say I never gave you anything.”

“Thank you Lucy. You won’t tell your parents yet will you?”

“I’ll give you an hour, that’s when dinner is ready. Mom probably already knows since Nox isn’t helping with dinner, but Dad won’t notice till much later unless Ryan makes a big deal about Nox not being at the table for dinner. I’ll try to cover and give you the night, but it might not work.”

I nodded, “Thanks Luc.”

She smiled and pressed a kiss to my cheek, “Take care of my brother.”

“I’ll try.” I said and left her room.

Other than the fact that it was on the other side of town, I’d never been there before. Walking was the only option, I didn’t want to bother my parents with getting him. But I called them anyway. Mom picked up at the grocery store, “Alex, what’s wrong, honey?”

“I’m fine. But I have a friend who’s not. You mind a little extra company for a while?”

“Anytime, you know that.”

“I’m not talking a night or two mom. It could be awhile. He just came out to his Dad and his Dad is having a really hard time dealing with it.”

“Nox?”

“Yeah, Mom. Mr. Durante cleared the house out to deal with it and Nox took off.”

“He’s welcome to stay as long as he wants.”

“Thanks.”

“Do you need help getting him?”

“No, I think I got it.” I hoped I had it. “I’ll be home as soon as I can.”

I hung up and hoped that Nox would be as easy to agree as my mother had. But somehow I was pretty sure my pretty boy wasn’t going to agree easily.

I kept thinking as I walked to the edge of town. What if he wasn’t here? Had I wasted my time? Was there any way I could convince him to stay with me? He didn’t need to be protected, he just needed some place warm and safe to stay. That’s all I was offering him. Safe and warm and loved?

Why was I doing this? He was just some kid at school. But I heard that voice in the back of my head, he’s the one you’ve been stalking most of your life. Was I really in love? But the address was just up the street and I hadn’t figured anything out. And it didn’t stop me from going inside what looked like some place I didn’t want to be. Was it even the right place?

There was a woman with graying hair sitting at the desk. A pair of spectacles set on her nose as she read a book. “Hi.” I said.

She looked up with a smile, “What can I do to help you?”

“I’m looking for my friend, tall, skinny, brown hair, thick eyeliner.”

“Nox?” she grinned at me.

“Yes, ma’am.” I said wondering if all homeless shelters knew him by his first name. Then I remembered Lucy said he volunteered here so of course they knew his name. “He’s in the back, helping with dinner. You taking him home?”

“Sorta. But not his home, mine.”

She smiled and sighed with relief, “Good, I didn’t want to see what would happen if you tried to take him back tonight. I’m surprised Lucy didn’t tell you to wait.”

“She did.” I said.

“Well, I’ll wish you luck.” She pointed to a door in the backed marked employee’s only, “He’s back there.”

“Thank you.” I said as I started walking through the large room full of tables and beds.